Sometimes the early morning hammering of woodpeckers makes sleeping in just about impossible — especially if their target happens to be the side of your home.
What can you do about woodpeckers hammering on your house? First, it helps to know why it's a woodpecker target in the first place.
- It just wants to make some noise. During the nesting season (April-May), hammering alerts nearby female woodpeckers of an eligible male. And it sends a message to male rivals: “This territory is MINE!”
- It’s building a nest. Woodpeckers are cavity nesters and usually excavate a hole in a tree. But sometimes, they may find a suitable man-made structure. If it's during the nesting season, that could mean the wood siding of your house!
- It found some insects. Don't rule out the possibility of an insect infestation in your home's exterior. Holes that are small and irregular are signs that your woodpecker is searching for food. If that's the case, contact a professional to help rid your house of these pests before they inflict more damage.
- It’s an Acorn Woodpecker caching acorns. If you live in certain areas of the west, the Acorn Woodpecker busies itself drilling holes into trees as well as man-made structures to store a large amount of acorns.
While the disturbance is reason enough to evict the woodpecker, you also want. Woodpecker holes can let in water and moisture, causing mold and rot. Your goal is to convince the woodpecker to move on without causing it harm. (It's important to note that none of the following woodpecker-deterring methods are considered 100 percent effective.)
- In the area where the woodpecker is hammering, hang reflective Mylar streamers that dangle in the wind. The movement and reflections may be enough to spook them. (This product is sometimes called “bird scare tape” or “bird repellent tape.”) According to a study cited by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, this woodpecker-safe method was the most consistently successful method. If you have other lightweight and shiny objects, like disposable pie plates or Mylar balloons, you can try those as well.
- Set up a couple of speakers and broadcast sounds of predatory birds and woodpecker distress calls.
- Fake them out by setting out an owl decoy. The more realistic, the better. Another product to try is a "terror ball," which is inflatable and presents the image of predator eyes.
- Repair or cover any nesting holes quickly. But be sure to do it before nesting season or after breeding season is over and the nest cavity is vacant. If you would like to offer the woodpecker an alternative, you may set up a nesting box on or near the spot.
Once the woodpeckers are redirected, they’re a welcome addition to any yard. They’re beautiful to look at and they eat many insects all summer long. Fill your feeders with Lyric Woodpecker No-Waste Mix and enjoy the colorful sightings.